As a connoisseur of focaccia, I can tell you that the sensory experience of eating this bread is something truly special. It begins even before you take your first bite.
First, there’s the sight of the focaccia. A well-made focaccia is a thing of beauty. It has a golden-brown crust that’s slightly crisp, dotted with dimples where the olive oil has pooled and baked into the bread. These dimples are a signature characteristic of focaccia, and they give the bread a rustic, artisanal look. If there are toppings, they add a burst of color and texture that makes the focaccia even more visually appealing.
the people of La Spezia, and more broadly Liguria, have a specific term for the ideal state of their beloved focaccia: «bisunta». This term, unique to the Ligurian dialect, refers to a focaccia that is generously anointed with olive oil. The word «bisunta» itself is derived from «unto», which means greasy or oily in Italian, but in this context, it’s a term of endearment rather than a critique.
It must be «bisunta»
When a focaccia is «bisunta», it means that it has been liberally doused with high-quality extra virgin olive oil both before and after the baking process. This results in a bread that is incredibly moist and rich, with a distinct glossy appearance. The olive oil seeps into the dimples on the surface of the bread, creating little pools of flavor that burst in your mouth with every bite.
The olive oil also gives the focaccia a beautiful golden color and a slightly crispy texture on the outside, while the inside remains soft and fluffy. This contrast between the crisp exterior and the soft interior is one of the hallmarks of a well-made focaccia.
Focaccia, a staple of Italian cuisine, is a flat oven-baked bread that originated from the ancient ovens of Rome. This delightful bread, similar in style and texture to pizza dough, is typically seasoned with olive oil, salt, and sometimes herbs, then baked to perfection. The result is a soft, chewy bread with a slightly crisp exterior, often served as a side dish, appetizer, or used for making sandwiches. The beauty of focaccia lies in its simplicity and versatility, making it a beloved choice for many food enthusiasts. But where can you find the best focaccia in La Spezia, a charming city located in the Liguria region of Italy? Here’s a comprehensive guide to the top places in this beautiful city where you can enjoy this Italian delicacy.
1. Panificio Rizzoli Marcello
Located at Via Fiume, 108, Panificio Rizzoli Marcello is a bakery that has received rave reviews for its focaccia. This historic bakery in La Spezia has a small shop reminiscent of the old times, creating an atmosphere that transports you back to a simpler era. The focaccia here is undoubtedly their specialty, with the «triangolo» being a classic for every local. The staff is always kind and available to serve the numerous customers who crowd the shop every day. If you’re in the area, it’s worth stopping by to taste a «triangolo» and experience a piece of La Spezia’s culinary history.
2. La Pia Centenaria
La Pia Centenaria, located at Via Magenta, 12, is a must-visit spot for focaccia lovers. This pizza place, known for its fantastic focaccia and pizza, has a reputation for quality that spans generations. The focaccia here is light, airy, and perfectly seasoned, making it a great place to stop by for a quick bite or to take away for a delicious meal at home.
3. Spezialità, focacceria bistrò
Situated at Via del Prione, 5/7, Spezialità, focacceria bistrò is a place that has been highly recommended for its focaccia. Customers have claimed it to be the best they’ve ever had, which is high praise indeed! The focaccia here is known for its perfect balance of texture and flavor, making it a must-try for any focaccia enthusiast.
4. Il Fornaio Matto
Il Fornaio Matto, nestled at Via Nino Bixio, 74, is a bakery that has received high praise for its focaccia. One customer even claimed, «Mai mangiata una focaccia così buona!» which translates to «I’ve never eaten such good focaccia!» This bakery is known for its commitment to quality and freshness, ensuring that every bite of their focaccia is a delightful experience.
5. Panificio Triangoleria Rizzoli
Panificio Triangoleria Rizzoli, located at Corso Cavour, 176, is another bakery that has been highly recommended for its focaccia. Customers have praised the bakery for its freshly baked focaccia throughout the day. The focaccia here is known for its rich flavor and perfect texture, making it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.
6. L’antico Sapore Del Pane
L’antico Sapore Del Pane, located at Via Sardegna, 39, is a bakery that has been praised for its «Focaccia super fantastica!!!!! Deliziosa…» which translates to «Super fantastic focaccia!!!!! Delicious…» This bakery is known for its traditional baking methods and high-quality ingredients, which are evident in the taste of their focaccia. The bread here is soft, flavorful, and perfectly seasoned, making it a must-try when in La Spezia.
7. Panificio Condotti Di Graziani Alba
Panificio Condotti Di Graziani Alba, located at Via Roma, 38, is another bakery that has been recommended for its focaccia. However, it’s worth noting that some customers have mentioned a limited choice of focaccia when they visited. Despite this, the bakery is known for its warm and friendly service, and the focaccia they do offer is always fresh and delicious.
8. Ristorante Bama La Forneria
Ristorante Bama La Forneria, located at Via Sapri, 78, is a bakery and restaurant that has been praised for its focaccia. One customer claimed it to be the best they’ve had in a long time. This place is not just a bakery, but a culinary experience. The focaccia here is made with love and served with a smile, making your dining experience all the more enjoyable.
9. Mister Molini La Spezia
Mister Molini La Spezia, located at Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, 26, is a deli that has been praised for its amazing and reasonably priced focaccia. This place is a hidden gem in La Spezia, offering a variety of delicious Italian delicacies, with their focaccia being a standout. The bread is light, fluffy, and packed with flavor, making it a must-try for anyone visiting the city.
In conclusion, La Spezia offers a variety of places where you can enjoy delicious focaccia. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, make sure to visit these places and indulge in the delightful experience of tasting some of the best focaccia in Italy.